- Britain and Ireland purses slashed due to COVID-19
- Classics hit the hardest
- Newmarket prize money cut in half
- Ireland down 37.5%
- Concern for major naming rights sponsors
While racing looks to resume across the UK and Ireland, it has also been met with a financial hit as major cuts are made to prize money for Classics.
The global coronavirus pandemic will be felt by the racing fraternity when it returns as prize money figures have been significantly reduced for British as well as Irish racing.
The heaviest hit are Britain’s 1000 and 2000 Guineas, both which have been halved in value, dropping from £500,000 to £250,000 each, despite being provisional figures.
The Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas racing are 37.5% less than their original prize money, lowered from €400,000 to €250,000.
There is also growing concern that major naming rights sponsors who have also been hit by the coronavirus financial implications may withdraw sponsorship for flagship races.
Curragh CEO Pat Keogh confirmed Thursday that Tattersalls will continue to sponsor the Irish 2000 and 1000 Guineas and remains hopeful others will stay on.
“We’ve dealt with our sponsors all the way along. It’s an ongoing process and the priority is to keep them in place,” he said.
“But we recognise those sponsors are facing their own challenges.”
Racing across the globe has been forced to take on a new approach and with many jurisdictions relying on gate tickets.
It means the likes of the UK, Ireland and the United States could be hit the hardest.
“Racing this year is going to be different,” Keogh said.
“It’s going to be behind closed doors for an extended period.
“For a lot of sponsors, much of the experience is for them to entertain clients and have the benefit of exposure to live audiences, which will not be there.”
Prize money for British G1 races has been temporarily reduced by 50%, meaning the June 5 Coronation Cup (G1) will be worth £100,000.
In 2019, the same race was worth £425,000 at Epsom Downs as part of the two-day Derby.
The UK has provided provisional race dates for 2020 while Irish Racing has today confirmed their program for spring and summer.